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Matt Palmer,  New York City

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  • Matt Palmer

    Matt Palmer

    Matt Palmer is a senior lecturer in the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. His research interests are primarily in plant community ecology, with emphases on conservation, restoration and ecosystem function. His current research projects include the community dynamics and ecosystem functions of urban forests, wetlands and green infrastructure, the population biology of rare plants, and the engagement of urban youth in environmental monitoring and research. Matt also teaches classes, often with extensive field and natural history components, on topics related to ecology, conservation, and organismal biology.

    June 16, 2013
    Two coyotes in a park in New York City, photographed by a motion-triggered stationary camera.  Photo credit: Gotham Coyote Project

    Urban parks and green infrastructure are often touted for their benefits in providing for urban biodiversity. There have been several posts about this subject in this blog—by Tim Beatley, Thomas Elmqvist, Russell Galt, Bill Sherwonit, Bob Sallinger, and others—and it’s clear that a core of scientists, designers, planners, and community leaders are doing great work … Continue reading Valuing Urban Wildlife: Critical Partners in the Urban System or Scary, Disgusting Nuisances?

    January 16, 2013
    JapaneseKnotweed

    Cities are melting pots.  I expect we understand this metaphor best as it relates to human beings. Cities around the world grow because people keep moving into them.  People move from nearby rural areas, from other regions in the same country, or from around the world.  When they arrive, they bring their skills, their beliefs, … Continue reading Our Changing Urban Nature: Time to Embrace Exotic Species? (Or at Least Some of Them)

    August 14, 2012
    coyote with pups

    The world is losing its biological diversity – or biodiversity – at an alarming rate. The primary force driving this is habitat degradation. When the places where animals, plants, fungi, and the myriad other organisms live are converted to other uses, conditions change and the prior residents often move on or die. The two major causes … Continue reading Discovering Urban Biodiversity